At our lottie site, Bowbrook Allotment Community (www.bowbrookallotments.co.uk) we have created gardens of the four seasons. The Winter Garden has surprised us with its exciting colours and textures during the autumn. Today we weeded this bed and mulched it with woodchip which as well as giving a tidy finish, should protect the surface from heavy rain, stop goodness leaching from the soil and keep down any late germinating weeds. The sun was out most of the time while we worked and shone through the grasses and dogwoods. Although I designed this as the Winter Bed it is showing itself off well in the autumn.
The woodchip was a long way off across the site so John, our lottie chairman, devised a double decker wheelbarrow carrying system. Good job there was no health and safety officer watching!
The miscanthus look amazing for most of the year and now in November their foliage is colouring up and the seed heads are aglow. They sway in the gentlest of breezes.
The dogwoods have been planted for their coloured stems which will be lit by the low rays of the winter sun, stems of red, green, yellow and black. In the autumn we enjoy the reds and golds of their foliage just before they fall. The white berries are a real bonus – little white dolls’ eyeballs.
As we worked we were entertained by small flocks of goldfinches, linnets and greenfinches which passed overhead with their high pitched calls breaking the silence. In stark contrast and much less enjoyable were the cronking of a pair of raven and the calls of a huge flock of gulls screeching away as they wheeled around like wild white kites against a blue sky trying to escape their strings.